Iowa was the least active Big Ten team in the transfer portal for good reason

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The transfer portal is the talk of NCAA football every offseason it seems. Coaches move and players follow them. Players don’t feel things are a fit at their current school and leave. Or, you get programs that retain, develop, and go with their guys they know and have bought into. That is what Iowa does.

The Iowa Hawkeyes were the least active Big Ten team in the transfer portal this offseason, as reported by The Gazette’s John Steppe. There was one player that joined the Hawkeyes through the transfer portal this offseason and that was Steven Stilianos, a tight end coming from FCS school Lafayette.

Stilianos makes up one player, or 0.97% of transfers in the Big Ten. Iowa doesn’t use the portal. They develop their guys and they do so very, very well. Iowa has a strong culture, a rich history of turning unheralded recruits into college stars and NFL talents.

Iowa’s defensive line coach provided a great quote to their strategy surrounding their philosophy to filling gaps that arise.

“Is there somebody here? He may be in another position room,” Bell said in a June episode of The Gazette’s Hawk Off the Press podcast. “I’m going to check that before I check the portal because if he’s in the building, that kid understands the culture. If he’s in the building, that transition would be seamless.”

With their success and development, another reason for the lack of transfers joining the Iowa program is simply due to the experience already on the roster. With many upperclassmen starting, contributing, and helping win, the Hawkeyes don’t need to go away from what is clearly working.

Since the NCAA Transfer Portal originated in October of 2018, Iowa has won 73% of their games over the last four seasons with two 10-win seasons in there.

As Steppe discussed, the transfer portal can be a case of the grass not always being greener. Of those entering the portal, 42% of them are stuck without a new home, didn’t return to their original school, and many have given up scholarships.

Former quarterback Deuce Hogan gave up his Iowa scholarship when entering the transfer portal and is one of those individuals who was lucky enough to find a new home. Yet, he is now a walk-on, a steep price to pay in the transfer portal.

Luckily, the Iowa Hawkeyes have found success internally, moving guys around, growing them, and developing them into Big Ten football players. With their track record speaking for itself, don’t expect or think the Hawkeyes need to get their hands in the mess that the transfer portal is.

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